Boston Red Sox Rumors: May as well trade J.D. Martinez while you can

J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox broke their five-game losing streak last night with a much needed victory over the Cleveland Guardians. Due to how uncompetitive those losses were, it felt much longer than the five game stretch that it actually was.

With the win, Boston’s record sits at 49-48, which puts them three games out of a wild card spot in the American League. In a way, they are still very much in the playoff hunt despite getting throttled frequently during their recent losing streak.

But the fact of the matter is that, barring any sort of Boston Celtics type run, the Sox are not going to win the World Series this season. They have gotten bit by the injury bug pretty quite badly in recent months, and it’s becoming insurmountable.

But even if everyone who is injured is able to come back, they don’t have the firepower to go toe-to-toe with the top teams in the league. For that reason, the front office shouldn’t be overly aggressive pursuing players at the trade deadline. But if they want to get rid of guys like J.D. Martinez, now would be the time to do so.

If the Boston Red Sox want to trade J.D. Martinez, they need to do it now

Boston’s recent poor stretch of play seems to have convinced the team that they aren’t going to win it all this season. They initially seemed as if they were going to be buyers heading into July, but things have changed quickly. Now with less than a week to go until the deadline, they are stuck in no mans land.

From the sounds of it, the front office isn’t really going to be aggressive leaning either way. But reports came out earlier today that they were listening to trade offers for their star designated hitter Martinez. Trading Martinez isn’t a bad idea, but if they want to trade him, they are going to have to pull the trigger now.

Martinez is in the middle of another productive campaign, it just looks a bit different than what we have become accustomed to. He’s hitting .302, which is solid, but he has just nine home runs and 38 RBIs. Martinez is supposed to be one of Boston’s main run suppliers, and while he’s hitting the ball well, he just hasn’t been able to drive in runs consistently.

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Martinez has value for teams that are certainly contending this season and could use another bat. But for the Sox, his value has diminished as a result of his lowered run production. Considering how things have gone recently, now would be the perfect time to trade him.

Let’s start with the fact that Martinez is going to be 35 by the time this season ends. He may be declining right in front of our eyes this season, but if he isn’t, chances are the decline will be coming shortly.

That’s important because Martinez is going to be a free agent after this season. At this stage, it seems unlikely the Boston will re-sign him. Their prime focus is on Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. If they are struggling to afford new deals for them, Martinez has no shot of landing a new deal with the Sox.

Boston could hold onto Martinez and try to make a playoff run, but they’d be better served moving him now, getting something in return, and maybe even trying to win without him in the lineup. Martinez is clearly good, but the stats above show he hasn’t been the hitter Red Sox fans are accustomed to seeing.

An aging Martinez who is playing on an expiring deal doesn’t have a ton of value, but getting something is better than getting nothing. Chaim Bloom has worked tirelessly to revamp Boston’s farm system, so why not add another prospect or two to the minors who could help the next championship team, whereas Martinez is just trying to help this Sox team make the playoffs.

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The Boston Red Sox need to prioritize signing Devers and Bogaerts this offseason, which makes Martinez’s re-signing unlikely. With their season hanging in the balance, it would make sense to trade him while they can, rather than watch him walk for nothing when he hits free agency this offseason.